How to recover deleted photos from Samsung Galaxy S5

Can I recover deleted photos from Galaxy S5? I accidentally erased all the photos and videos in the gallery app, photos of my baby boy doing cute things for the last two months, they are very important to me.

Well we have all been there at some point, all it takes is one misplaced tap to erase all the beautiful memories archived with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Don't panic, there's still salvation, possibly.

Note: before resort to recover local files, are you sure you don't have an online backup somewhere up in the cloud? With your software maker google's relentless effort in pushing its cloud service, it's more than likely that your photos and videos has been uploaded by the google+ app even without your noticing. But if there's really no online backup made in the past, check the article below to get your deleted files back with photo recovery software from the local memory card.

Part I: Why and when files deleted from a Galaxy S5 can be recovered

If the deleted photos and videos were stored on the SD card (not internal memory), things will be easy, a deletecommand only removes the pointers to these files from the file system's allocation table, files get delisted, not destroyed. However, due to the deletion, the OS marks the memory space where the deleted files occupied as blank and available for use. So before the deleted files recovered, try not to use the Galaxy S5 for video recording, movies or games (things that produces considerable amount of data), because as the deleted files were marked as expandable, new data may overwrite their memory space thus render the photos and videos corrupted and irretrievable.

Part II: How to recovery deleted photos from Samsung Galaxy S5

Photos deleted from Samsung Galaxy S5 can be recovered by following these instructions, If you are reading this on your phone, mark the page and go power on your computer, a pc or Mac is needed to pull this off.

  1. Take out the memory card from the phone, because the card type is microSD, A MicroSD card adapter or USB Micro SD card reader is needed to connect the card with computer. (If there's no reader/adapter available, don't take out the card, just connect the phone with USB debugging mode turned on).
  2. Download photo recovery software, the software is available for both windows and Mac, but not mobile platforms.
  3. Click "recover photo, audio and video", the software automatically detects the card and ask to scan the USB mass storage device, proceed.
  4. During the scanning process, the software gathers and categorizes the files it manages to find from the Samsung Galaxy S5 by types and file extensions. All the photos, videos and video recordings produced by the camera, either deleted intentionally or not, will be found and categorized. After the scanning completes, save all files to the hard drive, windows file explorer/Mac finder will be much more efficient to fish out the photos, videos you actually want.

Part III: A few other things

How to turn on USB debugging mode?

On your Galaxy S5, go to settings – more – about phone, then tap on build number repeatedly for 7 times, you don't have to be super precise. Then hidden "Developer mode" will be unlocked, tap into "developer option" and check USB debugging.

What if the deleted files were stored in the Galaxy S5's internal memory

If the there wasn't a SD card installed, or the file location for storing the camera photos changed to the internal memory, things could be depressingly difficult. Because in the android 4.0 era, Google removed USB mass storage from android's connecting mode and restricted computer software, like the one we used to recover files, to access and interact with its internal memory where the system files resides, the internal storage won't be showing up in the drive list in the "select drive for scanning" process.

Still, there's a method proposed by bicecream - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1994705

The idea is to convert the entire internal memory of Samsung Galaxy S5 and output as a virtual hard disk, a VHD file that file recovery software can recognize as a viable storage device. By following this guide you will be treading on some thin ice with the risk of bricking S5, so, proceed with caution.

How to recover deleted photos and videos from the cloud?

In the age of cloud, it is actually kind of difficult to lose something as precious as the photos captured with your galaxy S5, even if the idea of backing up everything has never dawned on you. Possibly, if you have logged in the Galaxy S5 with your Google account and didn't bother to change the default sync setting (luckily). There's a string of apps will silently and watchfully backup your files to the cloud. Not necessarily sending to NSA, but may actually for the purpose of taking care of patrons.

Anyway, Google+ is the first place to look at. Photos and videos you deleted from Google + are stored for a short period of time before they are permanently deleted.

Following these instructions to restore deleted photos from Google+

  • Select Photos from Google+ navigation menu.
  • Click more, then trash from the dropdown menu.
  • check each photos mistakenly deleted from the phone.
  • Choose restore. Then sync your Google+ on the Galaxy S5, the deleted photos will return as soon as the downloading completed.

Also check the Google drives to see if there's a copy for the deleted photos.

KIES, the built in phone management software also has backup and restore features, you may have accidentally backed up the Galaxy S5 without your noticing.

Galaxy S5's memory didn't show up in the drive list?

It's because the deleted files are stored in the internal memory, a place where the photo recovery software doesn't have access to probe into.

Some of the photo in the preview window are greyed out, are these photos corrupted?

The photo might be corrupted due to overwritten, to repair a damaged, corrupted image file is a lot harder than to just recover a deleted file. Still, you can try jpeg repair, as the name suggests the software only works on .jpg image files, still, the result depends how badly the photos were overwritten, there's no absolute guarantee that the software will restore the image to its full beauty.

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